Bravery – Stir the Blood

January 01, 1970

(Island
Records) www.islanddefjam.com

 

BY JOSE MARTINEZ

 

New
York hipster band The Bravery really delivers on its third release Stir the Blood. Darker and more violent
in tone than either its impressive 2005 self-titled debut or the adventurous
2007 follow up The Sun And The Moon, as well as 2008’s double disc remix The Sun And The Moon Complete, Stir the Blood was recorded in an
abandoned church in the woods of Woodstock, NY and comes across as more frantic
and schizophrenic.

 

Often
compared to ‘80s sounding bands who like to use synthesizers such as The
Killers and Franz Ferdinand, The Bravery seem to be doing a better job among
those bands if you simply want to confine them to that category. Songs like
“Adored” about New Orleans love amidst Hurricane Katrina, and “Song for Jacob”
(based on a play by American socialist writer Clifford Odets) really kick
things off in high fashion.

 

The
disc’s first single “Slow
Poison
” is catchy as hell and is immediately followed by one of the
record’s best and most ferocious tracks “Hatefuck“,
an angry song about obsessive love. The band’s low-budget video directed by
bassist Mike Dirt is definitely worth watching.

 

Other
standout tracks include “I Am Your Skin” and “The Spectator” about alienation
from rest of the world, and “I Have Seen the Future” based on the 1932 novel
“Brave New World” written by Aldous Huxley.

 

“She’s
So Bendable” (written and sung by Mike Dirt) is reminiscent of The Thompson
Twins’ “If You Were Here
which can be heard during the closing credits of Sixteen Candles

 

Other
favorites of mine are the unrelenting “Red Hands and White Knuckles” which
singer Sam Endicott wrote as a love song to his beloved New York, as well as “Jack-O-Lantern Man”
which is tale of anger and blind, idiot rage.

 

Sugar
Pill
“, a mellow, distant feeling track, closes the record and is perhaps
the only song on the disc that can be called filler. But this is a solid
release from start to finish. The line ‘stir the blood’ is actually taken from
the song “Jack-O-Lantern Man” and is an expression that means to awake
passions; to create emotion and energy. It also sounds cool but it really seems
to hit the mark in this case.

 

Standout
Tracks:
“Adored,”
“Slow Poison,” “Hatefuck,” “Red Hands And White Knuckles”

 

 

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